Mueller: 'We believe' some Trump campaign officials deleted communications

Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report MORE on Wednesday confirmed that he believes his investigation into Russian election interference was hampered by members of the Trump campaign deleting communications. 

"We believe that to be the case,” Mueller said during a hearing before the House Intelligence Committee.

He said he believed the same for the deletion of electronic messages. 

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Asked if it was fair to say “lies, deletion of text messages and witness tampering” left his team unable to fully assess the extent of election interference, Mueller responded “I’m not certain I would adopt that characterization in total."

However, he agreed with his report’s conclusion on potential gaps due to incomplete information, saying “we don’t know what we don’t know.”

The claim was also made in Mueller's final report concluding the Russia investigation, which read in part: "The Office learned that some of the individuals we interviewed or whose conduct we investigated—including some associated with the Trump Campaign—deleted relevant communications or communicated during the relevant period using applications that feature encryption or that do not provide for long-term retention of data or communications records."

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellHickenlooper ends presidential bid Scenes from Iowa State Fair: Surging Warren, Harris draw big crowds Nadler hits gas on impeachment MORE (D-Calif.), who briefly ran for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, further asked Mueller on Wednesday why truthful statements were important to such investigations.

"Because the testimony of the witness goes to the heart of just about any criminal case you have," Mueller replied.